The Community Radio Continuous Improvement Toolkit

This toolkit is a part of a self-review mechanism, developed in the context of Community Radio (CR) in India. It allows CR stations to periodically assess themselves on their performance. This version was based on extensive feedback received during the field-testing of the earlier version in four CR stations across the country, with additional inputs from eight other stations whose representatives participated in the process as peers. Additionally, validation and adaptation of the toolkit by CR stations in Bangladesh have also enhanced the value of this version.

The following information was provided to BetterEvaluation by Jessica Noske-Turner as part of the Evaluating C4D Resource Hub

The Evaluating C4D Resource Hub sits within BetterEvaluation and houses a growing collection of the available guides, toolkits, tools and methods to use for research monitoring and evaluation (R,M&E) of Communication for Development (C4D) initiatives. The Hub is structured around two combined frameworks:

C4D Evaluation Framework (represented by the circle) is an approach. It describes the values and principles that guide our decisions in C4D. 

The BetterEvaluation Rainbow Framework (represented by the rainbows) is a structure. It organises the practical tasks into seven categories or 'clusters' and provides options.

While the resource recommendation below discusses the resource specifically in relation to its usefulness for evaluating C4D within the Evaluating C4D Resource Hub's C4D Framework, this resource may also be of use for people working in other contexts and with different frameworks.

Authors and their affiliation

Pavarala, Vinod; Malik, Kanchan K; Belavadi, Vasuki; Deshbandhu, Aditya; Raghunath, Preeti; UNESCO 

Year of publication

2017 

Type of resource

Toolkit

Key features

The toolkit provides for indicators of performance along nine broad parameters: content generation and programming; policies and guidelines; volunteers; technology – access and management; on-air standards of broadcast; governance; feedback and grievances; content-sharing and networking; revenue generation and financial accountability. It has been contextualized and adapted now by CR stations in Bangladesh, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and Germany. Themes such as participation, inclusion, gender, capacity building, etc. have been treated as core principles that cut across all the nine parameters. 

Who is this resource useful for?

  • CR station's staff and volunteers
  • Program officers
  • Evaluators
  • Consultants
  • Researchers

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

This example has been identified as particularly useful for evaluating of communication for development. It was identified as part of a research project in collaboration with UNICEF C4D.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

Although the Community Radio Continuous Improvement Toolkit was created in the context of community radios in India, but, with some adaptation of the questions, the processes and guidance could be applied to support peer-assessment between organisations doing a range of different types of C4D. The toolkit and the approach is consistent with the C4D Evaluation framework in the following ways:

  • learning-based: the peer-learning and evaluation approach places an emphasis on processes of learning and adapting of good practices by peers.
  • participatoryrather than 'expert led' the peer-learning approach uses participatory processes towards peer-evaluation.  
  • complex: the learning approach recognises the self-organising capacity of participants to recognise aspects that can be adapted and generalised to their own context  
  • criticalThe involvement of peers overcomes some of the uneven power relations that can occur in external evaluations, however it is important to have an experienced facilitator who can create a trusting environment and ensure participation of all people.

It is also important to recognise the following: 

  • accountable: It is important to recognise that the objective of this approach is peer-learning and improvement. If the purpose of the evaluation process includes accountability, this approach may not meet those needs on its own.

Source

Pavarala, V., Malik, K.K., Belavadi, V., Deshbandhu, A. and Raghunath, P. (2014) The Community Radio Continuous Improvement Toolkit. Available at: http://uccommedia.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/CR-CIT-Version-2.0.pdf.  (Accessed: 16 February 2017).

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